the seven best shows to stream this week

pick of the week

The old

Life nearly overtook art during the production of this series: In a fitting reminder of the frailty of the years, its star Jeff Bridges almost died from a combination of cancer and covid. That makes his performance all the more compelling in this physically intense affair. Dan Chase (Bridges) is pulled out of a solitary, meditative retreat by some angry ghosts from his past life as a CIA agent and is forced to fight for survival. The adaptation of Thomas Perry’s novel feels clunky at times, but it’s underpinned by Bridges’ convincing mix of stillness and sudden, swift, deadly movement. John Lithgow’s trusted presence as Chase’s FBI nemesis doesn’t hurt either.
Disney+, starting Wednesday, September 28

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Jungle

“We’re just wounded men here,” says Gogo (Ezra Elliott). But the wounded strike back, and this London-set crime drama explores collateral damage. In terms of theme, Top Boy is probably Jungle’s closest comparison. In addition to exploring the politics of power, the series is about the emotional toll of living on the edge. When a robbery goes wrong, Gogo and his partner-in-crime Slim (RA) face a series of settling scores. But is trust possible in this brutal world? The story is told in part through rap and drill music, and there’s a real edge of menace to this dark but neon-lit world.
Prime Video, starting Friday, September 30

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Thai Cave Rescue

In 2018, the teenagers of the Wild Boars soccer team (and their adult coach) found themselves trapped by bad weather and rising water levels in one of the most dangerous cave systems on Earth, Thailand’s Tham Luang Non. What followed was a race against time that eventually involved volunteers and expert divers from around the world. The story itself is remarkable enough that some aspects of this dramatized retelling feel unnecessarily melodramatic, but the claustrophobia and anxiety of the team’s ordeal is effectively realized.
Netflix available now

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The rise of the billionaires

A timely series covering the era when American businessmen transformed from online pioneers with catchphrases like “Don’t be evil” into the modern day equivalent of Bond villains. Inevitably, we start with Jeff Bezos, a former Wall Street analyst who, while crunching the numbers around a new innovation called the “Internet,” had a great idea. And so we begin: launching a parade of wildly ambitious and self-satisfied alpha-geeks. Later episodes cover the people behind Google, Facebook, and Tesla.
Paramount+, from Tuesday, September 27

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Inspector Borowski

Axel Milberg’s pessimistic German detective returns for a third season of a well-constructed and patiently unfolding crime drama, if a bit generic. When we return to the port of Kiel, Borowski is on the verge of some discoveries that are sure to make him even more tormented and gloomy: a letter from his goddaughter Grete reveals some dark family secrets. The estrangement was due to the disappearance of Grete’s mother, but new information suggests that her husband may have been responsible for her death.
All 4, starting Friday, September 30

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entergalactic

This animated special devised by Kid Cudi as a visual accompaniment to his new album (out the same day) is a contemporary-looking twist on a familiar theme: finding love in the city. Jabari is a young artist who hits it off with his neighbor Meadow at a party. But with professional demands piling up and a succession of friends giving them unhelpful relationship advice, will the pair find room for each other? It’s very well done and is rounded out by a stellar voice cast including Timothée Chalamet, Jessica Williams and Cudi himself.
Netflix, starting Friday, September 30

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Queer out of fear

“Queer people are considered to be outside of society,” explains comedian Lea DeLaria, “and horror is outside of society.” This entertaining and illuminating series views horror through an LGBTQ+ lens (being “the monster in the room”) and offers a persuasive alternate history of an oft-maligned genre that revealingly often manifests itself through concealment, transformation and allegory. The series begins with Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, and FW Murnau’s queer code Nosferatu, before moving on to the modern classics.
Shudder, starting Friday, September 30

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